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Easy Living

Paul Desmond

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Album Review

As the Paul Desmond/Jim Hall quartet's recording activities gradually came to a halt by 1965, RCA Victor assembled the remains of a number of their later sessions into one last album. These are anything but leftovers, however — indeed, they constitute the best Desmond/Hall album since Take Ten, more varied in texture and mood, and by and large more inspired in solo content, than Bossa Antigua and Glad to Be Unhappy. As a near-ideal example of this collaboration at its intuitive peak, "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" opens with Hall paraphrasing the tune, and Desmond comes in on the bridge with a perfectly timed rejoinder that sounds as if he's asking a question. "Here's That Rainy Day" is another apt match of a standard to Desmond's sophisticated personality; he is at his dry, jaunty best on the uptempo "That Old Feeling"; and both have a ball jamming on the blues in Desmond's wry, quick "Blues for Fun." [Some reissues add a pair of outtakes, plus "Rude Old Man."] ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Biography

Born: November 25, 1924 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Paul Desmond is widely recognized for his genius as a melodic improviser and as the benchmark of cool jazz sax players. His warm, elegant tone was one that he admittedly tried to make sound like a dry martini. He and Art Pepper were virtually the only alto players of their generation not directly influenced by Charlie Parker. Desmond was influenced by Lester Young, but took it further, into melodic and harmonic worlds never before traveled by reedmen — especially in the upper registers. Desmond...
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Easy Living, Paul Desmond
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Cool, Hard Bop
  • Released: 1965

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